The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate: 05/26/16
The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly is the sequel to The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. It's a new year and a new century and the start of Calpurnia's new life as a modern, educated, rational young woman.
Calpurnia's grandfather teachers her how to make a barometer out of a mason jar, a balloon, a rubber band, a needle, and a ruler. After days of successfully predicting changes in the weather, she's convinced that she's somehow broken it. Instead, it's recording a huge pressure drop with an approaching hurricane.
Many middle grade books published in the last year or so have been set within the context of Hurricane Katrina which contributed to massive devastation to the Ninth Ward of New Orleans. This book explores those themes but within the context of hurricane that struck Galveston on September 8, 1900.
Calpurnia's world is turned upside down again as her family must play host to a distant cousin on her mother's side. This cousin is a young woman on the cusp of adulthood. She though appears to be everything Calpurnia doesn't want to be: traditional, meek, polite, naive. She's also taking her bed and forcing renewed efforts to prep Calplurnia for marriage.
There's more going on with Calpurnia's cousin. A big part of this book is Calpurnia seeing first hand different ways of approaching adulthood, and different ways of being a feminist.
I don't know if there is a third book planned or not. Frankly, I wasn't expecting a second one. Both these books work perfectly as stand alone stories. I suspect there's more for Calpurnia to learn and more growing for her to do. If a third volume is written, I will gladly and eagerly read it.
In October of this year, a new illustrated chapter book series is launching, featuring Calpurnia Tate. Volume one is titled Skunked.